Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Counties Approved for Grants 13 Areas to Receive Green-Space Funding

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Counties Approved for Grants 13 Areas to Receive Green-Space Funding

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Less than two months after the deadline to apply for funding under Gov. Roy Barnes' new green-space initiative, 13 of 40 eligible counties have been cleared to receive land-preservation grants, Barnes announced yesterday.

"These counties . . . are to be commended for preparing acceptable green-space programs," the governor said during a news conference at the Capitol. "[They] are proven leaders in the field of green-space protection."

Barnes launched the green-space program last year as an incentive to counties to preserve undeveloped land as a buffer against urban sprawl and its accompanying ills, including traffic congestion and air pollution.

The state's 40 most heavily populated and/or fastest-growing counties are eligible to split $30 million earmarked by the General Assembly this year for the initiative. Those same counties would divide another $30 million Barnes has requested for fiscal 2002, which starts on July 1.

The lone caveat for the money is that the counties submit and gain approval for plans showing how they would preserve 20 percent of their undeveloped land. The funds are distributed according to a formula based upon what each county contributes to the state in property taxes.

Barnes said his Green Space Commission also has approved grants to 41 cities located within the 13 counties receiving green-space grants. Participating cities typically receive a portion of their county's grant award proportional to their share of the county's population.

Many of the cities and counties represented at yesterday's announcement already had been planning green-space initiatives on their own, so they had a head start when Barnes unveiled the state program.

"We were looking at various spaces," said Mayor Floyd Adams of Savannah, which worked with Chatham County and Chatham's other seven cities to land a grant of $1.1 million, the largest outside the Atlanta region. "When this money came in, we already had our money in our budget waiting to match it."

Adams said local officials are looking to buy and preserve two large tracts of undeveloped land, one inside the city limits and another elsewhere in Chatham County. He wouldn't reveal the locations of the sites because no agreements have been reached. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.